Woodcraft Training Opportunities

Woodcraft training is free for members, and a great chance to take a step back from group sessions, and to share ideas and skills. These sessions will help you to run a successful group, where children can engage, learn and have fun in a safe environment, with confident leaders and helpers. 

You can do the training listed below in less than an hour, during a 1-2 hour session, or over a weekend.

Jump to:

Online, in your own time: 

Informal skill-sharing and support:

Short 'DIY' session plans to run in your district:

Weekend residential training, led by staff and/or volunteers:

Additional resources:

Online, in your own time:


Previously recorded seminars are available for you to watch at any time: you'll watch a slide show with audio commentary, followed by questions from those who 'attended' at the time. Check the calendar for upcoming webinars - signing up to a live webinar means you can ask questions of the trainer, giving you a more interactive experience. 

Watch a webinar now

In addition, Learn to Lead training videos explain all the important aspects of running a group or district.

Online training modules

Like webinars, these modules can be taken at a time to suit you. They are a series of web pages of information, followed by quiz questions. As of April 2016, we have three topics to choose from:


There is a wealth of information on our website to support your development. Its not strictly training, but you'll get the most out of training when you also know where to find resources afterwards. 

Use our resources page to search for what you need, or start at one of the following portals:

Informal skill-sharing and support:

Peer support

Sometimes the best way to learn is to speak to someone doing a similar role. Ask on the facebook group, within your district or contact folk office to find someone to answer your questions. 


Short 'DIY' session plans to run in your district

If you have attended these training sessions as a participant, or if you have experience running a group, you will have enough information to lead them yourself for your group or district. See tips for running a training session

Introducing Woodcraft Folk

  • Introducing Woodcraft - A two hour training session giving a general introduction to the organisation, explaining its aims, roots and background.  It can be delivered by any one who feels competent – i.e. an experienced established leader/older members of district/group or members with training experience. But no formal qualifications are needed.

Bitesize session plans

 Bitesize sessions are best run in the order above. They cover the essentials of running a group, so are particularly useful for new groups or volunteers. You could use them informally as discussion prompts in a group meeting, run them over four evenings or together over a day or weekend.

Longer plans

  • Working together - A plan split into six hour long sessions. The whole programme can be completed in a day, but is better split into a weekend or several evenings: How can group leaders, helpers and other adult members in the Woodcraft Folk work together in a more effective way? We are very good at helping children to learn the skills of co-operation but sometimes struggle to reflect these in the interactions between adults in the movement. This workshop will cover both the attitudes and the skills needed to work together not only co-operatively but also collaboratively.
  • Bored Meetings - The course is aimed at Venturers, DFs and adult members who are either already on committees (e.g. district committees, regional committees, General Council, project or camp committees etc.), or thinking of getting involved with a committee in the future. 

Weekend residential training run by staff and/or volunteers: 

Leader training weekend

Regular training weekends for leaders, held at one of our beautiful outdoor centres or youth hostels. Our residential training weekeds are designed to develop the skills and knowledge needed to volunteer with Woodcraft groups for any age, and our experienced facilitators work hard to make them fun, friendly and free!

To book a place on upcoming training dates, please check the calendar. If you can't see any training listed, please contact info@woodcraft.org.uk to register your interest in attending training. 

Download a sample agenda for the leader training weekend.

Note: this is just a guide, the agenda changes regularly to suit the needs of participants.

If you are thinking about running this training (or part of it) yourself, or you have been on the training and are looking for the handouts, please visit the leader training plan page

More session plans...

These session plans haven't been run in full recently, but are available as session plans for volunteers to deliver. Contact info@woodcraft.org.uk for info.

  • Learn to Play - This course is aimed at members, parents, volunteers and DFs already running groups or wanting to become more involved with local Woodchip, Elfin or Pioneer groups. The course covers Introduction to Woodcraft Folk, child development and play, health and safety, safeguarding, inclusion, co-operative play activities and teamwork.
  • Youth Leader Training - The course is suitable for members, parents, volunteers and young people already running Pioneer and Venturer groups or planning on getting more involved in running groups. The course covers young people, society and Woodcraft folk aims & principles; working with young people – the leader’s role and safeguarding; programme planning, groups, issue based work and peer education; programme planning, camps, residential, health & safety matters and group organisation, course review and action planning.
  • Young Trainers - The Young Trainers Programme is specifically aimed at supporting and developing young people under the age of 25 to become trainers within Woodcraft Folk. They can then use these skills not only in Woodcraft, delivering training to support local groups, but also use them to gain future employment as the training is accredited through the ASDAN Activity Award.  There are no Young Trainers programmes currently scheduled but there are young Woodcraft Folk trainers around the organisation - if you'd like to invite one of them to run a training session, please get in touch

Tips for how to run a training session


  • Find out who else wants the training and ask interested people when they are free eg weekdays 8-9.30, Saturdays/ Sundays 10-1 or 1-4

  • Ask parents who might be nervous about helping at sessions; friends in other groups; ask your district to send out an email; use WCF social media eg local, regional Facebook groups

  • Find a trainer or two

  • Find 2 creche helpers for daytime sessions if possible

Date and venue

  • Try a doodle poll but give people a week to answer then book it

  • Avoid school holidays

  • Can you use a group night venue while the group is meeting outdoors or offsite?

  • Fundraise to pay for another venue, or ask sympathetic organisations for a room or discount on a room, eg your local third sector support organisation eg Voluntary Action; Co-op?

  • Meet in someone’s living room if it is only a few people

  • Meet during another Woodcraft event that will provide childcare

Publicise to your group, district and region


  • Take bookings eg ask people to give you their name, group, role, email, phone, support needs to secure a place. Google forms are easy to use and automatically create a spreadsheet. Text, email and phone work ok too.

  • Confirm that people have a place and ask them to tell you asap if they cannot attend.

Session prep

  • Download and print training session plans and handouts.

  • Trainer/ co-trainers can seek support from other volunteer trainers (and staff). Contact Folk office, ask on the training ‘community’, Facebook, ask around to speak to someone who has run the training before.

  • Take biscuits/ fruit and possibly flasks of hot water and tea bags, or ask people to bring their own if there are no funds to provide them

  • Email handouts to participants afterwards